Big Idea 3 – Genetics and Information Transfer


When students wrap their heads around the idea that transfer of information encompasses Essential Knowledge at the  molecular level, the cellular level, viruses and bacteria as well as the structure and function of the nervous system, they will hopefully see how the new Curriculum Framework is geared to help them expand their biological thinking as well as deepen their understanding of common characteristics among all organisms.

The Enduring Understandings found in Big Idea # 3 begins with areas of study that students will find somewhat familiar:  the Central Dogma of Biology, mitosis and meiosis as well as transmission of information via chromosomes from parent to offspring leading to inheritance patterns dictated by  Mendelian and non-Mendelian genetics.  Students will again encounter cell-to-cell communication in this Big Idea as regulation of gene expression comes under study. This concept is dealt with in studying eukaryotic gene control at the molecular level and as a result of chemical signals within and between organisms. Genetic variation is a major topic of study in Big Idea # 3.  Students study various ways that genetic variation increases in populations. Finally, a study of how organisms take in information, integrate the information and produce a response rounds out the variety of concepts dealt with in Big Idea # 3.

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